When anyone intentionally decides to start building a life of prayer the first honest question is "How?." Through my life, I have had moments where these decisions have to be made. Prayer, like any other part of the Christian life, means constantly pushing forward...going deeper and deeper. What counts is finding moments and different practices which continue to push this journey forward.
At this years meeting of the Louisiana Annual Conference of the UMC, Rev. Adam Hamilton lead several sessions and discussions on church vision and vitality. At several moments along the way he either pointed to or lead us through Wesley's Covenant Prayer. Traditionally this prayer is used at the beginning of the year as congregations recommit towards holy relationships and mission. What Rev. Hamilton illustrated was this prayers place in the everyday life of individuals and congregations.
For anyone looking for a new way point in the life of prayer, either beginning or reinvigorating, the covenant prayer is an excellent addition.
I am no longer my own, but thine.
Put me to what thou wilt, rank me with whom thou wilt.
Put me to doing, put me to suffering.
Let me be employed for thee or laid aside for thee,
exalted for thee or brought low for thee.
Let me be full, let me be empty.
Let me have all things, let me have nothing.
I freely and heartily yield all things to thy pleasure and disposal.
And now, O glorious and blessed God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, thou art mine, and I am thine.
So be it.
And the covenant which I have made on earth,
let it be ratified in heaven.
I have found by making multiple copies and placing them in both intended and surprise location, I pray the prayer several times during the day. I have a copy in my bathroom and I pray it almost first thing in the morning. I pray it when I transition tasks during the day or when I start a time of devotion or study. It provides a wonderful embedded space in my life.
Yes, the language might be old fashioned, but I decided to not update it. It marks things as "special" for me.
I encourage you to practice this prayer. Make it part of your day at least once. Find the best place to put it into your devotional life. Trust me, it will be a blessing.
As a side note, I want to resource you in using this prayer. For the first 72 hours of this posts life, I want to run a contest. If you link to this post, through either Facebook or Twitter, and include my handle (@chaddbrooks on twitter or THIS account on Facebook), I will enter your name into a drawing. The winner gets a swag package from me, with multiple of my laminated copies of this prayer along with a few other goodies.
So share this prayer. Make it part of your life. Above all, pursue a deep life of prayer.